The recently completed Night Beat series was one of
the best-written and best-acted series we’ve ever played. There were so many great episodes. Narrowing it to a top 10 is a challenge, but here is my best shot.
10) The Man with Red Hair
Original Air Date: August 21, 1952
Randy is picked up in a bar by an intriguing woman who has an unusual itinerary for their date. Along the way, they’re stalked by a man with red hair. Good mystery with an emotional conclusion.
9) The Slasher
Original Air Date: November 10, 1950
A slasher has been terrifying women in the city. Randy thinks he’s discovered who’s behind it and the next victim. Some great twists in this one.
8) Mr. and Mrs. Carothers
Original Air Date: October 26, 1951
A cute, elderly couple ask for Randy’s advice on how to have a good time in the Windy City. All is charming until Randy gets a hint the husband is planning the unthinkable. The story builds up suspense and mystery while giving characters very believable motives.
7) Tong Water
Original Air Date: April 17, 1950
Randy goes to Chinatown to prevent a breakout of a Tong war that could spread across the country.
6) Jukebox Romance
Original Air Date: May 18, 1951
A man with dwarfism is ready to kill after a bully decides to arrange a meeting between him and the lady jukebox operator. In this special episode,a beautiful performance by William Conrad comes out of nowhere and steals the show.
5) I Know Your Secret
Original Air Date: April 10, 1950
Randy comes across a woman ready to commit suicide based on a simple message: “I know your secret.”
4) Einar Pearce and Family
Original Air Date: October 13, 1950
Randy is vacationing in Minnesota and is put on the trail of wanted criminal Einar Pearce, but is captured by the criminal’s family to stop him from going to the police…until they’re done with him. This is a very different Night Beat in a quaint rural setting with unforgettable characters.
Original Air Date: May 25, 1951
Randy receives a letter from a man threatening to kill him sometime during the night.
Original Air Date: June 22, 1951
The set up is brilliant. A madman holds a boy hostage in a church belltower. Can police get the lunatic out without harming the boy? A suspenseful story with a surprise conclusion.
1) Expectant Father
Original Air Date: December 28, 1951
William Conrad’s best single performance on the series as he plays a carousing colleague of Randy’s about to become a father. The vast majority of the episode is Conrad and Frank Lovejoy playing off each other. The script has some dated elements, but it connects to common feelings and conflicts that men deal with. A great piece of writing, brilliantly acted.
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